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ERIC Number: EJ1117367
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Demonstrating Rapid Qualitative Elemental Analyses of Participant-Supplied Objects at a Public Outreach Event
Schwarz, Gunnar; Burger, Marcel; Guex, Kevin; Gundlach-Graham, Alexander; Ka¨ser, Debora; Koch, Joachim; Velicsanyi, Peter; Wu, Chung-Che; Gu¨nther, Detlef; Hattendorf, Bodo
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n10 p1749-1753 Oct 2016
A public demonstration of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) for fast and sensitive qualitative elemental analysis of solid everyday objects is described. This demonstration served as a showcase model for modern instrumentation (and for elemental analysis, in particular) to the public. Several steps were made to adapt conventional laboratory-based ICP-MS instrumentation to bring it to the outreach event and also to improve ease-of-use, which helped facilitate discussion with attendees. Rather than the conventional closed-cell design, this setup consisted of a laser ablation (LA) system that allowed for ablation in ambient conditions which enabled swift sample exchange during the demonstration. A gas exchange device was operated between the LA system and the ICP-MS instrument allowing for the replacement of ambient gases with argon. This particular setup was utilized during an open day event to demonstrate how LA-ICPMS can be used for qualitative analysis of major and trace elemental components in objects. In particular, visitors were encouraged to present objects for elemental analysis. Complete elemental analysis of supplied samples such as keys, coins, rings, and necklaces was demonstrated by recording full mass spectra. Variation of the elemental composition across different regions of objects was shown by scanning the laser beam and acquiring transient elemental signals.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A